In today’s market retail businesses need to consider how they want their customers to feel when they visit their store. Several factors can affect this such as the layout of the premises, the music being played, the design and the types of lighting used.
Lighting has a direct influence on our mood, with 80% of the sensory information the brain receives coming from our eyes. Lighting within a retail space can highlight product qualities and create virtual spaces. This impacts how we feel, what we think of a product, and ultimately the choice of whether to purchase or not.
The use of light in retail stores must be considered at each stage of a customer’s journey. There needs to be differences in lighting to create the desired reaction from the customer as they move from the store front to the displays and even the payment area.
- The four main types of lighting in retail stores are:
Ambient lighting in retail design is the main lighting ensuring customers have enough general lighting to feel comfortable in the store.
- Task lighting is a more focused technique in retail, it is used in areas of a store where more light is needed to perform certain tasks for instance changing rooms or checkout areas.
- Accent lighting is technique used to emphasise a certain display or area within a store, to attract a customer’s eye; this could be a piece of artwork, jewellery within cases or a shelving display.
- Finally, Decorative lighting, this is mainly to add to the look and feel of the store with a decorative fixture. This lighting generally does not have any functional purpose.
Visibility or Appearance
When first picking out proper accent lighting, you need to make a choice between visibility and appearance. In other words, what do you want accent lighting for? Do you want to make it easier for people to see the details on products, or are you using accent lighting primarily for its aesthetic effect? This choice will affect every other decision you make, so it’s important that you start here.
Grocery stores and hardware stores, for example, may prefer visibility and plain white LEDs. Clothing and homewares stores may prefer appearance and colorful blues and reds. It’s all about your brand.
Focus your accent lighting on real products, preferably large products or product selections where you want to draw attention.
Have a special deal going on? Highlight it.
A particularly large product or display? That’s where you need accent lighting.
Not every product in your store needs to be accented with its own lights, but using a few accent lights here and there can make a big difference in your product display choices. Be careful not to highlight too many of your products or you many end up overwhelming the customer so much they don’t look at the product itself.
Another common goal for accent lighting is to lead customers. The course is created by using accents lights to pull customers from one area to another through signals and contrasts.
This is great if you want customers to take a specific path through your store. Retail businesses can make use of this tactic to draw customers on through specific areas to encourage cross-selling and impulse purchases.
Subtle is Better
Spotlights can be great but beware not to use burning-bright spotlights as your accent lighting for retail stores. Bright spotlights will do nothing for your products except give them too much glare and annoy or blind your customers.
Accent lighting should provide subtle, quiet illumination, possibly in different shades for effect. Many LED lamps can switch colors according to set patterns if necessary, without creating too much glare.
Re-assess the Image
There can be a number of reasons that sale tactics and store and lighting designs that were once effective no longer have the appeal required to grow your business:
- Demographic Change – The demographics in your location may have changed over time, and the dominant ethnic group, age group and income levels in the neighborhood may be different. Potential new customers also have different tastes than former clients.
- An Aging Store – Your store may have begun to look old and outdated and you have failed to keep your former customers who may now have to travel some distance to reach your outlet.
- New Competition – New, competitive stores may have moved into the area and you are losing market share to them.
- Comparison Failure – Your store may not be as convenient or as attractive as other stores of the same type.
Lighting for your Target Market
It has been proven that different consumer markets respond differently to retail lighting, for example:
- Warehouses and discount shoppers like bright, simple lighting to enhance a quick and efficient buying trip.
- Dramatic up lights, down lights, colored lights, strip lights, and vivid contrasts appeal to shoppers in boutiques and upscale store.
- Young people like sparkle, razzle-dazzle, and color, and are drawn to new trends and styles.
- The busier the shopping area, the more important are the window displays for attracting customers into your store.
With the right retail lighting, you can create a compelling brand identity to engage and inspire shoppers. Whether you are selling sports equipment or antiques, an intelligent retail store lighting design will enhance your image and brand, attract customers, and increase sales. Want to know more? You can contact us here.